Edmonton Oilers centre Colby Cave has died, the team announced on Saturday. He was just 25 years old.
“It is with great sadness to share the news that our Colby Cave passed away early this morning,” Colby’s wife Emily Cave said in a statement released by the Oilers. “I and both our families are in shock but know our Colby was loved dearly by us, his family and friends, the entire hockey community, and many more. We thank everyone for their prayers during this difficult time.”
After suffering a brain bleed earlier this week, Cave was placed in a medically-induced coma and admitted to the critical care unit at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Cave underwent emergency surgery where doctors removed a colloid cyst that was causing pressure on his brain.
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The Battleford, Saskatchewan, native split this season with the Oilers and AHL Bakersfield Condors, appearing in 11 NHL games. He has appeared in 67 NHL games with the Oilers and Boston Bruins during his career.
Undrafted, Cave worked his way into the NHL following four seasons with the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL and three seasons with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.
“The National Hockey League family mourns the heartbreaking passing of Colby Cave, whose life and hockey career, though too short, were inspiringly emblematic of the best of our game,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement. “Undrafted but undaunted, Colby was relentless in the pursuit of his hockey dream with both the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins organizations. An earnest and hardworking player, he was admired by his teammates and coaches. More important, he was a warm and generous person who was well-liked by all those fortunate enough to know him.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Emily, their families and Colby’s countless friends throughout the hockey world.”